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Movie Typography and Branding

Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:32 pm
by wormwood
Whilst many of the designs submitted for the Sintel movie logotype are very good, I think it is worth mentioning that among professional designers it is seldom considered a good idea to make letters look like something other than a letter, or to use a graphic image as a letterform, such as making the S look like a dragon, or the T look like a tree, or having a human figure for the I, etc. There is a danger that, however well executed, it will still look amateurish.

For example, I think that the Big Buck Bunny logotype was typographically very strong, but that was compromised by incorporating the peach and butterfly graphic elements. Also, it was unnecessary when the characters and images from the movie itself had enough graphical strength themselves. It is the very differences between typography and graphics that provide the best overall impact when they are combined.

The vast majority of movie logotypes are purely typographic and if Sintel is intended to promote Blender as a professional tool then it would be wise if its branding is similar in execution to that of the big name mainstream movies.

Here is a good online archive of movie posters for examples of movie logotype design...

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:48 pm
by tinonetic
I rather liked the big buck bunny logo. IMO it was actually well designed and it did communicate everything it needed to.

what do you say about the shrek logo. The "S" has Ogre ears. Even the Dreamworks logo with the Moon Man, within that same Shrek logo. ... _ver10.jpg

there are best practices, some of which you did highlight correctly but it is still subjective. in 007 logo, the 7 is a gun and its part of Quantum of Solace.

could go on.

thanks for the resource, though. I didnt know about impawards

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 5:22 pm
by wormwood
tinonetic, you appear to have misunderstood what I wrote.

I did not say that the Big Buck Bunny logotype was not well designed. It was. I simply suggested that the graphic elements within the logotype were unnecessary and compromised its effectiveness within the movie's overall branding.

This issue is not subjective and is really not a matter for dispute because a quick browse through the movie posters on the IMP Awards website will confirm what I have said. The 3 contradictory examples that you mention are merely some of the few exceptions that prove the rule...

The ogres ears on Shrek's initial S do not compromise its underlying letterform. They are a relatively minor augmentation to a typographic S. Also the Shrek movies are cartoon comedies, so that small degree of playfulness is more appropriate in that instance.

Dreamworks' boy in the moon logo is wholly graphical and quite separate from their logotype, which is just unmodified Palatino Bold stretched horizontally.

The letterforms in the Bond logotypes are unmodified. The 7 is not a gun, it is a typographic 7 and is not connected to the graphic elements that give an overall impression of a gun. The typography of the 7 remains uncompromised where as the gun is hardly a plausible gun, but is merely suggestive of one. Also the Bond movies are a rare exception in that they actually require a constant visual device independent of any one Bond movie title's logotype to help connect a long running series of movies.

PS On a slightly personal note... Brush Script is an awful typeface even when used in an appropriate context. And that context would be something like a parody of 1970's retail signage.

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:49 am
by tinonetic
It is still your opinion, which is why I will maintain that design is subjective. Movie posters shouldnt be the only yardstick of a "good" movie logo. "Good" is also a matter of debate. It should be basic principles of design, branding and identity.

Logo design and design as a whole is subjective. There are principles which are considered good practise and are accepted. This depends on the audience, the owners of the logo or brand, the intended identity design and so much more than just typography. It all fits into a strategy.

The winning movie poster website is judged by who? What is subjectivity?

Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:14 pm
by wormwood
@ tinonetic ...

What absolute nonsense. You are obviously confused. My original post was simply to point out one indisputable fact...


The movie logotypes clearly shown on the posters at the IMP Awards website demonstrate that fact. Just look at the logotypes for the TOP 10 BOX OFFICE movies on the left side of the homepage. Every one of them is completely typographic.

That fact speaks volumes about what the movie industry itself regards as appropriate and effective movie logotype design.

You are free to continue to ignore that fact and proceed on your subjective quest.

PS - The OED definition of subjective... "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions"

PPS - The IMP Awards website catalogues every movie poster available. They are not selective about which designs are included in their archive.

Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:17 pm
by tinonetic
whatever makes u happy

Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:47 pm
by Cosimo_0
I think the rigid prejudiced typographic approach is useful while the open minded ontologically correct anything goes one isn't.